fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: jolie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2016 21:32:58 +0000
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP
I know this mail will come to you as a surprise since we haven't known
or come across each other before considering the fact that I sourced
your email contact through the Internet in search of trusted person
who can assist me.
I am Miss jolie karim Coulibaly 24 years old female from the Republic
of Ivory Coast,West Africa, Iam the Daughter of Late Chief Sgt.
Ibrahim Coulibaly (a.k.a General IB ). My late father was a well known
Ivory Coast militia leader . He died on Thursday 28 April 2011
following a fight with the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast(FRCI). You
can read more about my father in the link below.
I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am
receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away all my late
father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of
my beloved Father. Meanwhile I wanted to travel to Europe, but she
hide away my international passport and other valuable
documents.Luckily she did not discover where I kept my father's File
which contained important documents. Now I am presently staying in the
Mission in Burkina Faso. I am seeking for long term relationship and
investment assistance. My father of blessed memory deposited the sum
of US$ 7.5 Million in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the
next of kin. I had contacted the Bank to clear the deposit but the
Branch Manager told me that being a refugee, my status according to
the local law does not authorize me to carry out the
operation.However, he advised me to provide a trustee who will stand
on my behalf. I had wanted to inform my stepmother about this deposit
but I am afraid that she will not offer me anything after the release
Therefore, I decide to seek for your help in transferring the money
into your bank account while I will relocate to your country and
settle down with you. As you indicated your interest to help me I will
give you the account number and the contact of the bank where my late
beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It
is my intention to compensate you with 25% of the total money for your
assistance and the balance shall be my investment in any profitable
venture which you will recommend to me as have no any idea about
foreign investment. Please all communications should be through this
email address for confidential purposes. Thanking you a lot in
anticipation of your quick response. I will give you details in my
next mail after receiving your acceptance mail to help me.
Miss jolie karim